New Blogger - Meet my husband, Steven!

by Charlene Morton

In a few weeks, I’ll be attending the 20th annual Morton family reunion. A big part of this will be looking at photos of times past, of people still here and those lost. Photographs capture the moments in our lives that we don’t want to forget and are a gateway for our memories to take us back to loved ones past and present. I’ll see photos of my Dad’s boisterous laugh or my Mom’s thoughtful smile, and for a moment in time, they’ll be back here with me. I’ll see a picture of myself as a third grader at Smyrna Elementary and remember the walk to the library every week to read a new adventure of Babar or an Encyclopedia Brown story I hadn’t read yet.

I’ll see a picture of myself in a multi-colored jacket (that I can’t believe I ever actually wore) as a second grader, taking me back to the old Buchanan Elementary where you had to walk through the rain to get to the cafeteria. I’ll see pictures that take me back to the time my brother, Allen, and I snuck our two-year-old sister onto the school bus and darn near gave our stepmom a heart attack. 

Right now, sitting at this computer, I see my gorgeous wife on our wedding day and go back to when I first saw her in her wedding dress with her Daddy holding her hand, coming to join her life, heart and soul to mine. These tears are real. What is also real is how much better the pictures look from our wedding than the pictures will look at the reunion. Class pictures were an assembly line process where we lined up, fake smiled, and moved onto the next one. While they capture the point in time, they don’t capture a crooked smile, a laugh of joy, or the other delights of life that are the difference between pictures and art. They don’t capture landscapes and fall colors with those emotions.

This is what Charlene is so wonderful at doing for Peace Love Paws Photography. She captures the spirit of the moment as well as the image. We don’t have to have our school pictures limited to an assembly line photo taking but can be an all-encompassing session that captures your child in that moment and time. From weddings to senior pictures to special moments like “Sweet Sixteen” parties, a professional photographer is a great investment in those memories. Thank you very much for reading my rambling today.


PS – I’ll be blogging here from time to time.

The Amazing Tubbs

by Charlene Morton

I met Tubbs and his mom a while back through Bark for Life, and I fell in love. I found out pretty soon thereafter that Tubbs is extra special -- he's fighting canine cancer. 

Tubbs was getting a bath on Thanksgiving 2013 when his mom noticed one of his front wrists was a little larger than the other. She took him to the vet the next morning and was told that it was most likely Osteosarcoma, which the test confirmed. Tubbs and his family were referred to an Oncologist's office, and amputation was recommended; but, they just couldn't bring themselves to amputate the leg. They visited the University of Florida at Gainesville where a limb spare was performed, which included radiation and plating the leg. He came home and was doing well but just couldn't leave that particular leg alone. Tubbs did several rounds of chemo every three weeks for a period of time, but after a few months, the leg tissue began dying as a result of the radiation. The family decided in favor of amputation during June 2014.

Tubbs has done very well with three legs and is back to his normal life, including Safari Pet Resort's doggy day camp which he loves very much. In April 2015, a spot was discovered on Tubbs' lungs as a result of the cancer metastasizing. He is now receiving chemo treatments again in an attempt to prevent the new spot from increasing in size. The thing I love most about Tubbs is this: "He doesn't realize there is anything wrong with him, and we pray it stays this way. Our main goal through all of this was for Tubbs to get back to a normal life and to be happy. We feel we accomplished this goal." I believe you did, too, Mom. You can see Tubbs' full session here

Always a Smile on Missy (#MyTurn)

by Charlene Morton

The first thing I noticed when receiving information about Missy was that she always has a smile -- even in the sad beginning of her story. I think the images below speak for themselves.

Courtesy of Middle Tennessee Treasures

Courtesy of Middle Tennessee Treasures

Even in the "Then" photo, look at that huge smile -- Missy is simply a "happy dog." Thanks to Middle Tennessee Treasures and Missy's foster mom, she's recovered from starvation and heartworm issues. She's more than ready for a new family! She's great with kids, other dogs, and even cats! She's a great leash walker and knows "sit" and "shake" commands.

Training by Wag It Better

She does well with car rides and would love a home where she can lounge on furniture. Won't you consider sweet Missy? If so, please send me an e-mail on my Contact Page. If you're not in a position to adopt right now, please share her on your social media pages (#MyTurn). Thank you!

Heartbreak hotel? Not here!

by Charlene Morton

Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, is pet-friendly indeed, honoring its canine guests with a bed and goodie bag just for them. But then, they kick it up a notch! Each day, patrons are greeted by a dog from Charlie's Angels Animal Rescue, wearing an "Adopt Me" vest. Charlie's Angels is an organization that works to pull shelter animals in danger of euthanasia. Seems like Aloft has never received any complaints. Only one dog is "featured" at a time, and he/she is always on a leash. Any interested guests are welcome to take the dog with them to the restaurant, bar, or other areas, provided they're on a leash. 

Aloft is rumored to be the only such hotel in the country! What a great thing to boast! Read the full article here, including the story of a real-life adoption love story.